How graduates can get into a new job – The Irish Times


Starting a new job can be daunting, with many leaving university life behind and entering the corporate world for the first time.

So what are some tips for starting a new job and making a good impression? Here, we talk to recruiting experts to find out how to put the best foot forward.

Ferdia White, commercial director at recruitment specialist Hays Ireland, admits that for many people, starting a new role inevitably comes with a mixture of excitement and apprehension.

“It may seem very basic, but first impressions count, so arrive early, dress smart, be friendly to everyone you meet and demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of your new employer and the industry at large” , he said.

“I also encourage new hires to try sitting down one-on-one with their new colleagues to learn more about their roles, the culture within the organization and the different personalities they will be working with.

“Ask lots of questions. Sometimes people are hesitant to ask the ‘dumb question’, but asking questions demonstrates a desire to learn and add value to the organization.

Eleanor Donoghue, head of career services at UCC, says many of her students start new jobs as part of the university’s work placement program, which can be an essential part of their degree at some point. given.

Hybrid Options

“Many of these internships last six months to a year and may be a student’s very first time in the workplace for a suitable job,” she says.

“The world of work has changed over the past few years with the emergence of many new ways of working, such as flexible options, fully remote options or hybrid working in addition to the traditional physical workplaces that many between us know..

“Recent graduates will be quite familiar with these new flexible and hybrid options and there are different ways to prepare to start this new role, prepare for the first day on the job and make an impression, whether in person or at remotely and virtually.

Donoghue has some advice for people faced with this rather daunting proposition. “Get a good night’s sleep the night before,” she says. “You will undoubtedly be nervous and a nice walk before bed will help you relax and unwind.

“On the morning of the first day of your new job, be sure to set the alarm early, take a shower, and allow yourself plenty of time for breakfast. It may seem logical, but figuring out the right timing on day one can be tricky.

“It also helps to have your work clothes ready, so you don’t flip through shirt hangers that morning to find a clean one. It happens.

“If your first day is a virtual day, make sure you stick to the same plan. Dress as if you were physically in the office and never wear casual clothes or pajamas, even if you are hiding behind a screen .

“If you are traveling, plan your route and know the way. No one wants you to arrive 30 minutes late because you missed your bus or got lost. Once you arrive at the workplace – whether physical or virtual – smile and make eye contact with the people greeting you.

When you arrive at your workplace, Donoghue says you need to have confidence in yourself and take the time to learn the ropes.

“You got the job for a reason,” she continues. “There will be a lot to learn the first few days or even weeks, so make sure you have all the onboarding materials, take care of them and take notes as you go.

“These are helpful little notes to yourself that you can reflect on daily. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You might think asking questions isn’t the right thing to do, but everyone will appreciate your interest and willingness to learn.

“Also don’t be afraid if you make a mistake. Sometimes that can be the best way to learn. During the day, network with other graduates or even colleagues and get to know them a little more, it will calm your nerves and help you find your feet.

“Sometimes it’s nice to get to know your colleagues over lunch, so don’t be afraid to ask them if they’re going to the canteen.

Observe others

“Finally, observe others. Take mental notes about the office environment, organizational culture, colleagues, teams, supervisors, managers, and leaders. It’s an amazing way to find out what’s appropriate and what you should be doing.

“If your first day is virtual, set up your home office space to be professional and clean. Dirty mugs or dirty laundry in the background are definitely off limits, and open your windows, which will help stimulate the mind and clear the air.

“Check your technical equipment, computer, screen, mouse and keyboard, and make sure the internet connection is reliable.

“Working remotely can be difficult, so the same rules apply – ask questions, attend virtual meetings, watch, listen and observe and you’ll settle in and find your feet.”

Paul Vance, head of resources at KPMG, says it’s also important to remember that workplaces are “social environments”.

“So when you start a new job, in addition to being a new employee, you’re also a human being to everyone else,” he says. “So while it’s okay to maybe feel a little shy or nervous, it’s always worth making an effort to show up and show a reasonable interest in others.”

“In short, it’s about building relationships and that’s the foundation to help make a positive impact in your new role.”

According to Brendan Lally, careers adviser at the University of Limerick, the first 100 days of your new job are particularly important.

“Start before day one to give yourself a head start,” he says. “You have the job offer, know the name of your manager and the team you will be working with.

“Check them out on LinkedIn and connect with them ahead of time. It helps both parties get a sense of each other and put a face to a name.

“Get the cooperation of those around you so you have the time and space to work extra hard in the first 100 days and show your employer what you can do.

“When it comes to work-life balance, and especially vacations, I would strongly advise against pre-booking anything like a sun vacation within the first 100 days of a new job. Be prepared to do more and say to your family/friends that you will have your head down. This effort can set you up for years and have a positive effect on your career trajectory.”

Lally says the immediate priority is to build relationships with key stakeholders by hosting short “get to know you” introductory calls when you arrive.

“Many organizations do it anyway, but if not, take the initiative yourself,” he says. “Find out as much as you can about your new employer – how things are organized, who does what, the jargon used, etc.

“Many graduates can really suffer from impostor syndrome – this feeling that they will be found out. Do a simple SWOT analysis on yourself (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).

“Acknowledge and understand your main challenges. Start your real work from day one, which is to impress your boss first and then other stakeholders. How you are perceived is 50% of your success.

“Be clear about what your boss expects of you. Build positive relationships and make your coffee break partners as diverse as possible.

“Take on your assigned work and complete it to the highest possible standard. Avoid the trap of staying in your comfort zone. Don’t automatically follow what the next graduate next to you is doing. You want your work is a bit above what is expected of a standard graduate.

Lally says the first 30 days of a new job is a time when you have to be a bit careful. “Watch and learn,” he says.

“Be aware of the expectation of graduates to have a fresh set of eyes and to bring something new; you’re expected to be able to see what they can’t see, but be aware of assuming the established team is doing it wrong and you know better.


“Look for quick and easy gains in the first 30 days. Pay attention to requests for volunteers at meetings or by e-mail. On day 100, achieve at least one significant victory where your name is mentioned in positive terms.

“Keep seeking feedback from different stakeholders. Be brave and ask them for upfront and honest reviews.

“Network as much as possible, but you may need to adapt your approach when working virtually by planning your networking opportunities in advance to get time into people’s calendars.”

Daniel Corcoran, vice president of job site Indeed, also has a few words of encouragement for any newbies feeling the pressure.

“When you start a new job, it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious about your upcoming role,” he says. “It is good to know that the team is delighted to welcome you to the company and wants you to succeed.

“Use the first 90 days to show them who you are through your performance in the role and determine the advantage you provide to the team.

“Strive to build relationships with your team and integrate into your new work environment to show that you are a valuable member of the team. These connections will help you establish a foundation for future collaborative opportunities and build a helpful support network.

“Another important step is to put yourself in the shoes of the company you’ve joined and understand as much as you can about it.

“Asking relevant questions, observing others and observing how people interact with colleagues and clients is often an invaluable learning experience for someone starting a new job.

“It may seem simple, but taking detailed notes and reviewing them at the end of each day can really help integrate these important elements.”

PwC Ireland partner Emma Scott says newcomers should use the induction and onboarding they receive to their advantage.

“You will have the opportunity to meet your peers, hear from and meet leaders, which will give you the opportunity to develop your network,” she says. “You will receive a lot of important information in your first month, which can be confusing and sometimes overwhelming, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

“It’s also important to put your best foot forward when you start a new role, try to relax and be yourself, be enthusiastic about learning new things and get involved in all the activities offered to you, such as team building exercises or a simple coffee with your team members.”

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